VIRGINIA

Tree falls hurting boy, grandmother in Loudoun County

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A 5-year-old boy is back at home after a rotting tree collapsed and fell on him and his grandmother in Loudoun County Saturday afternoon.

Lucas Walker was playing in a sandbox in the 1900 block of East Beech Road when the tree ripped from the ground around 1:30 p.m. The weight of the tree slammed onto the preschooler just as his grandmother, Margaret Walker, slipped into the backyard hammock that was attached to the tree.

"She said she was pinned under the tree…she didn't realize Lucas was in the way of the tree, and then she saw him laying there…," Lucas' father, Nicholas Walker, said.

The injured grandmother let out what neighbors described as "a blood-curdling scream" after she apparently saw her own twisted lower body in the tangled hammock.

"Her hip bone basically busted out of the socket. The hip socket was broken, the femur was broken…it was a compound fracture. Part of her pelvis was fractured a little bit, and part of her lower spine was fractured," Nicholas explained.

Lucas' dad adds his son is in no condition to talk about the tree that could have claimed his life.

"He had a lot of swelling on his head…and he was unconscious at first," Nicholas Walker said.

Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Liz Mills says the tree was 12 to 18 inches in diameter and old and rotted out from termites and ants.

In a neighborhood with more trees than homes, some residents are on edge.

"I had a tree blow down in my front yard last year because of a storm…and it hit my roof and we had it taken down," said neighbor Joe Pearson.

The Walkers say the hammock has been attached to the tree for years.

Margaret Walker underwent surgery Monday to repair her injured hip and femur.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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